What is a German Volume Training Routine (How Do You Do It?)

By Mark / 6 months ago

German Volume Training is a tough workout option that can deliver outstanding results. Get the lowdown on how to get optimal results from this system.

A Tough But Effective Workout

Are you a bodybuilder looking to break a plateau and gain crazy amounts of muscle? Are you willing to push yourself to the limit, train until every muscle is sore and then do it all over again? If you’ve answered yes to these questions, then you are the perfect candidate for German Volume Training.

What is a German Volume Training Routine?

Charles Poliquin re-introduced German Volume Training to the masses in 1996, although there have been instances of it being used since the 1940’s.

German Volume Training or GVT is a training system that focuses on compound lifts, a high number of sets and a high number of repetitions. In GVT, 10 is the magic number. Bodybuilders focus on doing 10 sets of compound exercises aiming for 10 repetitions per set.

Some of you may laugh and think that it is very easy because usually when you do 10 sets it is done with a lighter amount of weight.

You can strike that notion from your mind right now, because while it’s true that you will use lighter weights, with German Volume Training you will take shorter rest periods. You will also perform each exercise slowly and you will definitely feel the burn.


A typical session of German Volume Training involves only two exercises per workout. One exercise will be a push exercise (doing exercises that simulate pushing) and the other will be a pull exercise (exercises that simulate pulling).

That’s it. Only two exercises. You will start off working out with a weight that is 60 percent of your one rep maximum. The eccentric phase of your set (lowering the weight) will last four seconds.

This may seem like a short period of time until you realize that you will be doing 10 repetitions for 10 sets. This means that you will be doing those slow, eccentric phases 100 times.

Not only will your body have to endure this massive amount of training, but you will only have between 60 and 90 seconds of rest between sets. Your body will have little time to replace energy stores before it’s time to do another set.

When you work out legs with German Volume Training you have to deviate a little from the amount of sets and reps that you perform. When you train your legs, you will perform six sets with 10 repetitions per set.


Some exercises that you may do with GVT include deadlifts, squats and bench presses. Let’s start off with leg day. You decide you will do deadlift and squats on this day. You’ll load up the bar with a weight that is 60 percent of your one rep max and get to work.

First, you will perform your deadlifts keeping in mind the 4-second eccentric phase, take a 60-second break and do it all over again. After the 6th set, you’ll be sweating, breathing hard and wondering if GVT was really a good idea, but you’ll go on to the next exercise which is squats. You’ll follow the same rules, always adhering to form, but never giving up.

During the week, you will choose 6 more exercises. Your German Volume Training should be performed four days a week, and on each of those four days, you must include a pushing and pulling exercise. You should only use GVT for a period of 4 to 6 weeks. After you've done it for that period of time, switch back to your regular workout.

Nutrition for German Volume Training Routines

One thing that cannot be overlooked when embarking on a brutal training routine like GVT is your nutrition. It’s not a good idea to combine German Volume Training when you are on a fat loss phase.

GVT is done to build a lot of muscle and build it fast. For that reason when you are doing GVT you must eat. You should always eat healthy foods, but do not cut your calories. Protein, carbohydrates, and fats should be eaten throughout the day. You should also consider having a protein drink before and after your workout.

Your body will be constantly screaming for nutrients during this type of training and if you want your muscles to grow, you’ll give your body all the nutrients it needs.

Get Great Results

On the surface, German Volume Training may seem like the easiest form of training on earth. You're working at 60 percent of your normal workload and you're performing a lot of repetitions and sets.

Don't let the volume of work fool you into thinking it's no work at all. This type of training is brutal and after one session you will see and feel the truth. But, even though it is a difficult workout, you'll increase strength, endurance and break through any plateau.

About the author


Hello, I'm Mark. I'm a bodybuilding champion and have been active in the industry for over 10 years. I created this website to provide fellow bodybuilders with useful information to help them achieve their dream physique.